Myanmar military put on United Nations blacklist for violence

Rohingya crisis

Myanmar military put on United Nations blacklist for violence

Bangladesh and Myanmar vowed to begin repatriation in January but the plan has been repeatedly delayed as both sides blame the other for a lack of preparation.

An advance copy of Secretary-General Antonio Guterres' report to the Security Council, obtained Friday by The Associated Press, says worldwide medical staff and others in Bangladesh have documented that numerous nearly 700,000 Rohingya who fled from Myanmar "bear the physical and psychological scars of brutal assault".

A new United Nations (UN) report puts Myanmar's armed forces on a UN blacklist of government and rebel groups "credibly suspected" of carrying out assault and other acts of violence in conflict for the first time.

Boats with Rohingya from parts of Rakhine state have continued leaving Myanmar in recent months.

The Myanmar government announced late on Saturday that a family of refugees had become the first to be processed in newly built repatriation centres earlier that day.

"The five members of a family came back to Taungpyoletwei town repatriation camp in Rakhine state this morning", according to the governments Information Committee.

The pictures also show the family - one man, two women and a young girl and boy - receiving controversial national verification cards, which Rohingya activists have rejected, saying they are a way to deny Rohingya people citizenship. The Rohingya family had been living in a camp erected on a patch there [between the two countries].

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Myanmar officials could not be reached for further details and the post did not say whether any more returns were expected soon.

Many Rohingya refugees say they fear returning to a country where they saw their relatives murdered by soldiers and where Buddhist vigilantes drove them from their homes.

The United Nations has warned that a mass repatriation of Rohingya would be premature. Many refuse to return without a guarantee of basic rights and citizenship.

On Saturday the UN's refugee agency said in a statement that conditions are not yet conducive for the voluntary, safe, dignified, and sustainable return of refugees.

Although the Rohingya have lived in Burma for many generations, most Burmese consider them unwanted immigrants from neighboring Bangladesh and refer to them as "Bengalis", a term the Rohingya consider derogatory.

Myanmar must address "critical issues of freedom of movement, social cohesion, livelihoods, and access to services", she added. Doctors Without Borders (MSF) estimated that at least 6,700 Rohingya were killed in the first month of the crackdown alone.

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